Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Day 10: Experiences of the Lukani village group

Our group is back from our visit to Lukani where we collected and tested water samples, learned how to make chapati, met with the local water committeevisited schools, attended a church service, and received lovely wardrobe gifts!

Upon arrival to Lukani, we were warmly welcomed, shown our rooms in the pastor's house, and fed our first meal of the day. We immediately began our work by visiting the borehole supplying water to the current system in Kilimehewa designed by students from a past trip.

Making great progress in our first day, we also visited the tanks located along the Kilimehewa system, the local dispensary, the primary school, and the high and low points within the sub-villages of Ipogolo, Mjimwema, and Chamani. Don't worry, we were once again well fed in between our many stops. Along the way, we took various water quality samples from surface water sources the villagers within these sub-villages were currently using.

We were also grateful to have Christina, the secretary and treasurer of Lukani's water committee, along with us during our surveying so we could ask her all of our questions. After a short debriefing of what we had learned that day, we had a third meal of the day and quickly fell asleep.

Our second day began at 8 a.m. with learning how to make the beloved chapati, an unleavened flatbread, thanks to Tommy's strong affinity for the food in the village. This was a first-time experience for any student group. A lovely lady named Finest showed the group the entire process from ingredients to final product, and Tommy got a chance to make a chapati himself!

Then we had a meeting with the Lukani water committee to discuss how running the current system through Kilimehewa has been going, to see if they have any challenges, and to receive quantitative information about the system's flow. Maria led the charge, having created a large list of questions the night before, helping us streamline the information transaction.

After that, we only needed to visit the secondary school and return back to the low point in Mimwema. This area previously had a working hand pump, so the students were curious to see if this could be a possible location for a new borehole.

Having gathered the information we needed for the day, we returned back to our place of lodging for a long debrief session. We evaluated various system solutions and viewed the results of our five water quality samples.

With nearly a full day's work done, the students were eager to gather the children of Lukani in a game of Frisbee. Slowly, the participation numbers grew and all the kids learned very, very quickly, even surpassing the skills of a few of us.

Our final morning consisted of the Lukani church service and many thank-yous. The students sang and danced in front of the congregation and graciously received wardrobe gifts. Following the service, the children of Lukani indulged in an overwhelming amount of Jolly Ranchers. We debriefed the village leaders a final time and received multitudes of gratitude from the headmasters of schools nearby and the pastor of Lukani, Finally, we were able to thank the wonderful women who made our stay warm and wonderful!

—Blog post by Lucy (Luce), Tommy (Baba Chapati), Mia, Morgan, and Maria